City of Durham, City Manager's Report, Thomas J. Bonfield, Durham City Manager

October 25, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 37

Note from Tom

Durham’s Once in a Lifetime Celebration of 150 Years

It’s hard to believe that we’re in the final months of 2019, or that we’re in the final stretch of our City’s yearlong Durham 150 celebration. Reaching 150 years of incorporation as a city is a major milestone, and the Durham 150 initiative had been a bold, community-wide initiative to recognize this moment in our City’s history.
We’ve come a long way in our 150 years – from a population of 258 in 1869 to a population of more than 275,000 in 2019. There’s a reason why people keep coming to Durham – it’s a diverse and welcoming community that strives to offer opportunity for all.
The City is proud to be a presenting sponsor of Durham 150, and to work alongside Discover Durham, the Museum of Durham History, and many generous partners to make this celebration a success. But the recognition does not belong to one organization alone – it belongs to the entire community that has come together to show their Durham pride.
If you look back at the Durham 150 calendar, it’s incredible to see that there have been events almost every day of the year. And the celebration is not quite over – check the calendar for additional events, including the Closing Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 2. I hope you’ve had the opportunity to take part throughout the year, and invite you to attend the culminating event that will celebrate Durham’s history through video, live performance, music, and more. I’m particularly excited to see the historical honorees and hear the debut of the “I Choose Durham” anthem performed by talented local musicians.
As the Durham 150 celebration comes to a close, I’m more proud than ever to be a Durhamite, and I’m excited for what the Bull City has in store over the next 150 years.

City of Durham News

Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative – October 26

The Durham Police Department will participate in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative on Saturday, Oct. 26 at four locations. The event provides a safe way to dispose of prescriptions and learn about the potential abuse of medications.

Vote WD Hill Recreation Center/Hillside Park for Best Park of the Triangle

WD Hill Recreation Center/Hillside Park was recently nominated and made it to the Final 5 for the Best Park in WRAL's Best of the Triangle yearly contest. People now have the opportunity choose their favorite park out of the five by voting on WRAL. Voting runs until December 1. 

Ride GoDurham Fare-Free on Election Day

GoDurham buses will be fare-free all day on Tuesday, November 5 in addition to being fare-free for all future municipal and general election days thanks to a City Council-approved ordinance from their October 7 regular business meeting.

Durham Fire Department to Use Abandoned Apartments on Duke University’s Central Campus for Training

If residents and visitors see smoke and fire near several abandoned apartment buildings on Duke University’s Central Campus throughout November, they shouldn’t worry as its part of a series of planned firefighting training exercises.

Take A Survey, Enter to Win $100, and Help the City! 

You can help the Water Management Department and the Innovation Team better understand how Durham residents interact with water bills and experience water cutoffs. Take a quick, online Water Survey in English or Spanish now through November 30. Completing the survey enters you into a drawing for one of three $100 gift cards. No matter where you live in the city, we want to hear from you! 

Photo Highlight

Group photo of the 2019 Durham Neighborhood College class

Congratulations to the 2019 Durham Neighborhood College Grads

Last night, 27 residents graduated from Durham Neighborhood College, a program that has been offered by the City and County since 2003. After six weeks learning about various departments and aspects of local government, the group ended the experience with an engagement fair to learn about opportunities to stay engaged. In the words of one student, "[the program] leaves me feeling that our city/county care about us and want us to become more informed and engaged in our community." We look forward to seeing more from this group in the future. Learn more about Durham Neighborhood College.

Upcoming Events

Barktoberfest: A Celebration of All Things Canine

Saturday, Oct. 26, 3-6 p.m.
Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St.
Durham Parks and Recreation and Beyond Fences are joining forces to provide a fun-filled afternoon with our canine friends! Your support will help us promote a dog-friendly community and provide services to people and their pets in underserved areas. Enter the costume contest, purchase a special picture with your canine friend, browse and shop local vendors, and much more. Event details.


Thursday, Oct. 31, 6-9 p.m.
West Point on the Eno, 5101 N. Roxboro St.
Join Durham Parks and Recreation for our annual Halloween event, an evening full of fun for the whole family! Designed particularly for children ages 12 and younger, this special event features campfire stories and songs, hayrides, treats, crafts, games, and face painting.  No need to register - just come out, rain or shine! Event details.

Museum of the Moon presented by Bull Moon Rising

Thursday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Nov. 3
CCB Plaza, 201 N. Corcoran St.
For the first time in North Carolina, a giant breathtaking spherical replica of the moon – with a diameter of nearly 23 feet – will be suspended over CCB Plaza in downtown and open to the public for four days over Halloween weekend, supported by free events and fundraising components giving back to the community. Event details.

closing ceremony logo

Be Part of Durham's 150 Closing Ceremony

Saturday, Nov. 2, 7:30-10 p.m.
Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St.

The Durham 150 Closing Ceremony is less than a month away! Don’t miss the one-time-only, culminating event of the yearlong celebration of the City of Durham’s 150th anniversary. The event will dynamically showcase people and places from Durham’s history through live music, acting, and storytelling. Event details.

Now Showing on Durham Television Network

Catch up with Bull City Wrap

Get a recap of this week's news in three minutes with the latest episode of Bull City Wrap.

In this week's episode: DPAC marks another record-setting year; A unique opportunity to get up close with the moon; Progress on the South Ellerbe Restoration Project; Family-friendly Halloween events; and, Get ready for this year's Holiday Parade and Fun Fest. 
Watch now.

Image of float in Durham holiday parade

Stay Current with Our Durham-Focused Shows

The Durham Television Network produces four shows to help keep residents informed.

Follow the City of Durham YouTube channel to see the latest episodes, or watch on Spectrum channel 8, Google Fiber Channel 8, AT&T U-verse channel 99, and Frontier channel 70.

Durham Water Works for You

Buchanan Boulevard Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City's Water Management Department appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of October 28:

  • Waterline testing and water service connections will take place in outside of roadways.
  • No work will take place on Saturday or Sunday.

Central Park Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City's Water Management Department appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.

**Please note that this is the last anticipated project update for the Central Park Water Line Replacement project. All pipeline work and paving activities are complete and the Contractor will be completing punch-list items over the next few weeks. No road closures should be required to complete work items.**

Week of October 28:

  • Broadway Street may be temporarily reduced to one lane as water line work finishes.
  • Madison Avenue may be temporarily reduced to one lane as water line work finishes.
  • Northwood Street may be temporarily reduced to one lane as water line work finishes.
  • North Street may be temporarily reduced to one lane as water line work finishes.
  • No work is scheduled for this weekend. 
Leave the leaves! Autumn leaves can be mulched and applied to lawns and planting beds. Mulch helps retain soil moisture by reducing evaporation, which translates into reduced irrigation needs. As a bonus, recycling leaves on your lawn will also keep them out of storm drains and away from surface waters where they encourage algae blooms and negatively impact clean water sources.

Drought Status as of 10/22: Abnormally Dry

While Durham experiences moderate drought conditions, please be responsible with your water usage. It's okay to use what you need, but consider ways to conserve water where possible. To find additional water saving tips visit You can also find data on the current water supply status including current lake levels.

Stay Connected with Durham Information Network

Now More Ways to Watch & Listen to City Council Meetings

We’re always seeking ways to provide more access and be more transparent with our governance. We realize with busy schedules, it’s not always feasible to come to City Hall the first and third Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. to attend the City Council’s regular business meetings. Well, now you don’t have to physically be here in order to stay informed and watch your local government in action.

Thanks to our Public Affairs team, we’re now livestreaming all City Council meetings across multiple platforms. We’re even livestreaming the City-County Planning Commission meetings the second Tuesday of every month beginning at 5:30 p.m.

So, whether you tweet, follow along on Facebook, watch on YouTube or our website, or check out our government access channel…you’ll now be able to tune in and watch your local government at work at your convenience on these platforms:

Durham Information Network is the communications umbrella for information about the City, and its events and activities. Follow our channels to stay engaged and informed, including Durham Television Network, the City Manager’s Report and the Citizens’ Newsletter.

Follow us @CityofDurhamNC on social:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Nextdoor | Flickr | Spreaker | iTunes | Stitcher

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Social Spotlight

Check out the winning video entry in the Water Management Department's 2019 Imagine a Day Without Water video contest! Durham Academy student Brandon Caveney shows how a day without water could get pretty sticky. Follow Durham Saves Water and the City of Durham.

And here's our final winning submission for our Imagine a Day without Water video contest. @DurhamAcademy's  Brandon Caveney and peers definitely want to wash those hands! We would too. #WayneDrop hates sticky fingers! ???? #ValueWater

Durham One Call is Here to Help

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Durham One Call provides a high level of service in English and Spanish for inquiries and requests for service. Let us know how we can help you.

  • Call 919-560-1200
  • Use the One Call App 24/7
  • Visit the website
  • Stop by the City Hall lobby desk at 101 City Plaza Hall, M-F between 8-5

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